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Azerbaijanis Irate Over Plans To Destroy New Mosque

Reports that a newly built mosque is slated for demolition has sparked a protest in the northwestern Azerbaijani town of Delimmedli, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reported.

The Hazrat Ali Mosque was completed less than a year ago.

Protesters say officials claim the building is situated too near a road, but they question why other structures are not being subjected to the same fate.

Mohammad Ashurov, a Goranboy regional official, said the mosque is being demolished because of a natural-gas pipeline that passes nearby.

But he said the mosque might not be pulled down if an order saving it comes from a higher level of government.

Two other mosques have been razed in the past month: a mosque in the Yasamal district and the only offshore mosque, on Oily Rocks off the coast of the capital, Baku.